The body of Trinidadian Melan Salvary-Doyle who drownded along with her grandson Oliver Gedio, three, during the floods as category five Hurricane Irma ravaged St Martin, remains in Guadeloupe.
Salvary-Doyle’s body was taken to Guadeloupe for an autopsy was then expected to be flown back to Trinidad for burial.
The grandmother of six was seeking shelter during the hurricane when she and her grandson were swept away in the flood waters.
When contacted yestterday, Antigua and Barbuda Foreign Affairs Minister Charles Fernandez said Salvary-Doyle’s return for her final farewell would be delayed for at least a couple of days since the helicopter that was being used during evacuation left around midday on Saturday for maintenance.
“We were planning to return her body Monday or Tuesday and of course we have this threat from Tropical Storm Maria so everything had to be put on hold,” Fernandez said.
In light of the possibility that Tropical Storm Maria may hit the islands again, the minister said by tomorrow they would decide whether to open shelters, depending on TS Maria’s path.
Asked if the islands were equipped to handle another storm ater Irma’s devastation, Fernandez said: “Nobody is ever really equipped for a storm or a hurricane, but we have a lot of relief for Barbuda and we are allowing them in a limited capacity to travel back and forth. We are going to try and make it the best we can. I think we will be pretty much okay for now, I don’t know what the storm will bring depending on how devastating it is that is another story. We are as prepared as we can be I think,” he said
Previously Fernandez had stated that they had received more than enough relief supplies from several countries, but they were looking for financial aid to rebuild Barbuda which was amlsot totally torn apart.
However, he said it did not have to be just money, but building materials.
“We have gotten some committments even if it is not financial because we are looking at rebuilding, so we think it would be appropriate to give building materials. We have a number of people who have come in and are committed to help rebuild our hospital and the schools so that is what we are doing so nobody has to put money and they are not sure how the money would end up
“We are quite prepared to say look, you don’t have to put money. You can send building materisals, you can work through your organisation to rebuild the schools. We don’t want anybody to feel we just want the money to put in the bank and probably be misued. We also have an accounting firm to account for all supplies coming from the National Office of Disaster Services.
The director went publicly on television Saturday night and gave the assurance that everything is being accounted for, and he is quite confident that all the protocols necessary for transparency would be adhered to,” Fernandez said.